The Rickshaw Report: Xi's Visit to the USA
1. Xi Jinping is set to meet with Obama this week. How is the current relationship between the US and China?
I think the relationship is very straightforward. They are both on friendly terms, but are also cautious of each other. There is no permanent friend or enemy, only a permanent interest.
2. Who is your favourite American person?
As a child, I was really inspired by American action movie stars, like Alain Delon and Sylvester Stallone. ( Editor: Alain Delon is actually a French-Swiss national – not from the USA.) They were tough men! On another note, I really think former US President Bill Clinton played a major role in strengthening the US-China relationship.
3. How do the Chinese regard the USA?
It’s hard to say. In regards to the government, two issues stand out. Firstly, their policies are all based on their own national interest – but every country is like that. Secondly, the American government does not always do what it says it will. But the Chinese government does what it says it will do. However, we see American people as nice and down-to-earth. When they say something, they will follow through with it as a result of their good education. I have met a lot of foreigners from the USA.
4. Which issues pose the biggest problems to the US-China relationship?
I think the biggest problem is that the USA sees itself as the boss of the world. So, it does not want other countries to overtake its position. The USA may even try to control the development of other countries.
5. So do you think China will one day overtake the USA as the major world power?
Chinese people do not have an ambition to become the world’s number 1. They have simple aims like have a pleasant life, find a stable job. Throughout the vast course of China’s history, have you ever seen the Han Chinese invade others? No!
6. The South China Sea Dispute is regarded as a big source of tension in the US-China relationship. What are your thoughts?
A German director made a documentary called the Diaoyu Islands: the Truth. The film refers to historical evidence to prove that the islands belong to China. (Editor: Geography Fail! Diaoyu Islands ( or what the Japanese call the Senkaku Islands) are actually in the East China Sea.) Why does the USA always have to back Japan in these disputes? The USA is just messing around in Asia in order to pursue its own interests. As for the Philippines and Japan, they are just America’s puppets.
7. Hilary Clinton has announced her candidacy for the next US presidential elections. Could China have a female president in the near future?
A female president of China? The thought never occurred to me! But it’s not impossible. There is nothing wrong with having a female president. As long as we are all living a happy life and have good jobs, then the gender of the leader does not matter.
8. What can Chinese people learn from the USA?
In today’s China, honesty is a big issue. There are a lot of Chinese ancient virtues that modern Chinese no longer exhibit. For example, when an elderly person collapses on the street, a lot Chinese people are unsure whether to help, fearing it may be a scam. For Americans, there’s no hesitation. They will help.
9. Similarly, how can Americans learn from China?
Americans live spontaneously. They just spend all their money. But Chinese people save money and make plans for their spending. Americans can learn from our frugality.
10. What are your hopes for Xi’s meeting with Obama?
I think the two countries will just discuss the ways in which they can cooperate, and the leaders will get more familiar with each other. I do not think we will see any major breakthrough – it will just be like Obama and Xi’s previous two meetings.